SUMMERLICIOUS 2019: East Coast meets Far East @ Aviv

So, we’re hanging out at Aviv, this funky little joint on Dupont, right next to the Psycho Therapy Training Centre. Gimme gimme shock treatment, bro!!! Now, this place mixes Italian with Middle Eastern, with some crazy dishes that will blow your mind…like these PEI mussels with kimchi, gochujang and Chinese sausage:

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OK, now let’s break it down. The mussels are nicely steamed, you’ve got a bit of kick from the jalapeno, a little funk from the sausage, some crunchy bean sprouts…but what makes it is the kimchi. That’s some killer kimchi, dude!!!

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Now, for the main event, we’ve got some tender pork tenderloin swimming in a mango-lime sauce, with sweet potatoes, collard greens and french fries. OK, so the fries aren’t normally part of this dish, but this is body by french fried potaters, bro!!!

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Sadly, their desserts were so small that I had to eat two of them. The lemon cheesecake was pretty tasty, but as for the flourless chocolate cake…let’s just say it needs flour!!!

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I washed this all down with a Moroccan Brown Ale from Spearhead Brewing, which they’ve got on tap. Just look at that creamy head — mmm, creamy head…

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So many cheesecakes, such little time…

So, we’re hanging out at The Cheesecake Factory, the first one to open in Canada, up at Yorkdale Mall. I’ve heard of lineups up the ying-yang for this place, but if you get there right when they open, at 10 am on a weekend, you can be seated around 11:15 and finished eating by 12:45. That’s assuming, of course, you save room for dessert. And who goes to The Cheesecake Factory and DOESN’T save room for dessert!? That’s such a weak move, bro!!!!

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The menu at this place is the size of a Guy Fieri cookbook, and it definitely takes a while to flip through it. But one of the first things I spotted was these Nashville hot chicken nuggets. They’re not quite the same as eating hot chicken in Nashville, but it’s a nice snack to tide you over when you’ve skipped breakfast to get there early!

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Unfortunately, all the cheese from my stuffed cheddar burger leaked out onto the plate before I could take a bite. I had to scrape it up with my knife to give you this ooey, gooey money shot right here…and that meant I didn’t get cheese in every bite. Still, it’s not as painful as having hot cheese squirt out onto your arm, lemme tell ya!

And now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

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Man, it was hard to pick a favourite among so many great cakes. But when the server told me that Chris’ Outrageous Cheesecake tastes like a Nanaimo bar, I knew that was so outta bounds that I had to shut the back door and buy a ticket! What you’ve got here is a chocolate chip coconut cheesecake, with layers of chocolate cake, brownie, coconut pecan frosting and a side of whipped cream. So you’re basically getting three desserts in one. This cake was super rich and decadent…but you KNOW I licked the plate clean, bro!!!!!

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WINTERLICIOUS 2017: Welcome to the Hotel Grilled-Cheese Lobster!

So, we’re hanging out at King St. Social, this funky modern joint in the basement of the Hyatt Regency on King Street. This place isn’t usually open for lunch, but during Winterlicious, they’re serving up one of the most ridiculous sammies I’ve seen in a while. Say hello to my little friend Lobster Grilled Cheese Clubhouse:

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Now, they’ve basically took one good thing, and piled it on top of another good thing. You’ve got huge chunks of meaty lobster, some emmental cheese, apple slices…and then the bottom half has thick, chewy bacon, and then more cheese. Shut the back door, bro! And they give you a pretty big pile of sweet potato fries that were on point—not too mushy—and a buncha arugula for some reason. This is a pretty decent-sized meal, but because it was Winterlicious, you also got an appetizer and some dessert, and all for just 23 bucks!

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These mini arancinis were served up pretty crispy, and if there was cheese and beef inside, they didn’t put very much. I maybe shouldda had the soup instead?

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No complaints about the cheesecake though, bro! They give you a pretty big piece, too!

Finally got me some of that Chinese cheesecrack!

For many months now, there have been long lineups in front of the Greyhound bus terminal—and no, these folks aren’t waiting for the 8:15 to Niagara Falls. Since last February, Uncle Tetsu has been serving up cheesecakes right next to the bus station, and at 10 bucks a pop, they’re much cheaper than bus fare to Buffalo (where you can probably buy non-cheesy crack for 10 bucks a pop).

But sheeet son, I wouldn’t wait in line for KISS tickets, much less some little cake in a cardboard box—so I waited until winter, when I could just waltz right in there and buy one. And yes, yer only limited to one per person. Who says this guy isn’t looking after your cholesterol ‘n all that good stuff?

uncle_tetsu (2)(Let’s face it, you probably wouldn’t let ol’ pancake head here babysit your kids.)

The actual cheesecake is about as round and as flat as Uncle’s melon, and in case you aren’t creeped out yet, they even stamped his mug on the cake itself:

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So, what do I think about this sugary delicacy that’s making the Asian schoolgirls in this city all goo goo for Pikachu? Well, here’s a newsflash for ya: it tastes like fucking cheesecake. Cheese, eggs, cream, the whole nine yards. I think it’s a little too firm for my liking, and I’d probably put something on top to give it that extra kick, like chocolate sauce, or nacho cheese…but hey, at least I’ve got something to eat for breakfast for the next couple days.

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